LADIES GAA | WEE’VE DONE IT! Louth Ladies heading for an All Ireland final at Croke Park as Flood’s winner sinks Derry

TG4 All Ireland Ladies Junior Championship Semi-Final
Louth Ladies 3–7 Derry 2–9

Louth Ladies will contest an All Ireland final at Croke Park on September 16th after Kate Flood’s goal edged them over the line against Derry in a dramatic semi-final in Aughnacloy on Sunday.

Two points adrift as the game hurtled towards the final stages, Louth were dealt a blow when the unfortunate Michelle McMahon, captain of Louth’s last All Ireland win back in 2015, was involved in a clash of heads which saw her taken to hospital.

A lengthy stoppage followed with both teams heading for the sanctuary of the dressing room but Louth turned the semi-final on its head when they reappeared as Flood collected a pass from substitute Roisin Kavanagh, broke through two Derry challenges, and sidestepped Rachel Glasgow to cooly tap home the winning score.

It put the seal on a thrilling encounter which started with Derry in the ascendancy, the Ulster side taking an early four-point lead, 0–6 to 0–2, with Katie Holly influential; Stabannon’s Jenny McGuinness and Cooley’s Lauren Boyle grabbing the Louth scores.

Louth’s opening goal arrived in fortuitous fashion when Geraldines forward Bonnie Fleming saw her looping ball end up in the back of the Derry net and Flood added a second from the penalty spot after Boyle was hauled down by a Derry defender after rounding the keeper.

Derry, however, looked potent going forward themselves and things were all square going into the break — 2–3 to 0–9 — with Claragh Connor, Ciara McGurk and Megan Divine all on target.

The Reds burst from the traps at the start of the second-half with Rebecca Carr, Jenny McGuinness and another Cooley Kickhams starlet, Niamh Rice, moving them three ahead.

Paul Crozier’s outfit responded in emphatic fashion with Connor and Holly blowing Louth’s lead into thin air with goals in quick succession to leave the Ulster side three points in front with the game heading for the death.

McMahon’s injury resulted in a stoppage of almost an hour but it was Darren Bishop’s side who struck the decisive blow when they re-emerged as Flood played a captain’s role, leading by example to book a date at GAA HQ against Limerick next month.

LOUTH LADIES: Una Pearson; Shannen McLaughlin, Michelle McMahon, Éimeár Murray; Aoife Russell, Éimeár Byrne, Ceire Nolan; Sineád Woods, Rebecca Carr (0–1); Jenny McGuinness (0–2), Bonnie Fleming (1–0), Niamh Rice (0–1); Lauren Boyle (0–1), Kate Flood (2–2, 2f), Áine Breen. Subs: Róisín Kavanagh for L Boyle, 43 mins; Éilís Hand for M McMahon, 58 mins.

DERRY: Rachel Glasgow; Cait Glass, Aoife McGough, Anna Frizelle; Katy Holly (1–3), Nicole Nugent, Danielle Kivlehan; Ciara McGurk (0–1), Emma Doherty (0–2, 2f); Ciara Lynn, Ciara Moore, Aoife Laverty; Erin Doherty, Megan Devine (0–1), Claragh Connor (1–2). Subs: Deirbhle McNicholl for C Moore, 58 mins.

REFEREE: Declan Carolan (Down).

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